Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fall TV Preview – 2010 – Part 1: ABC

LeapBackBlog’s Fall TV Preview gives you a rundown of the good stuff that is out there – and there is so much of it, too much really. It is broken down by network – ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, The CW, and then shows on Cable. Finally, I list the top five shows most worth your time this fall.
Here is the stuff worth checking out:

Part 1: ABC - No Ordinary Family, Grey's Anatomy and Modern Family


No Ordinary Family (premiers – Sep 28, 8PM)
Synopsis: The new show is about a committed cop, Jim Powell, and his family. He has been married to his wife, a respected scientist, Stephanie for 16 years and things are not as good as they once were. They both have demanding jobs and are losing touch with their two teenage kids, Daphne and JJ. In an effort to reconnect as a family, they decide to take a vacation to South America as a family when Stephanie is sent there on a business trip – but it is cut short. Their plane crashes into the Amazon River – somehow they survive and shake it off, returning to their normal lives. But something is different – they have developed superpowers.
Why Should You Watch: First off the show stars Michael Chiklis (The Shield), Julie Benz (AngelDexter), Romany Malco (WeedsThe 40 Year Old Virgin), Autumn Reeser (The O.C.Entourage), and Stephen Collins (7th Heaven) – maybe the best cast of all the new shows. Second, the show’s co-creators, Greg Berlanti and Jon Harmon Feldman have worked on Dawson’s CreekRoswellEverwoodTru CallingEli Stone, and Brothers & Sisters.  Berlanti is also attached as a producer to the upcoming Green Lantern and possible The Flash movies. But credits aside, the main reason to watch this show is for the potential for great characters crafted by wonderful actors (especially Chiklis, really you must watch The Shield) – Malco and Chiklis should have some fun stuff between them.
Potential Issues: Do we really need another superhero show? Heroes imploded completely – a cool fresh show turned into a show in which no one could care less if any or all characters suddenly died – not good. Heroes left a bad taste in the mouth of fans of superhero-type fare. Co-creators Berlanti and Feldman have not brought forth a hit show – Eli Stone was decent but unsuccessful. Their other show Dirty Sexy Money had an abysmal season two (critically and ratings wise) and was cancelled.
Verdict: This is a must check out show – at least the first few episodes until it is clear if this is a win or a fail. There is enough awesomeness here to give it a chance. Let’s just call the verdict ‘pending’.

Grey’s Anatomy (season 7 premiers Sep 23, 9PM)
Synopsis: The medical drama is about Meredith Grey and her friends and colleagues and their trials and tribulations at Seattle Grace Hospital.
Why Should You Watch: Being that the show is a serial drama and this being its seventh season, chances are either you watch it or do not already – but should you decide to jump in here, after a few episodes you will know the characters and the new arches will carry you forward with the story. The show does boast quite a cast with leads Ellen PompeoPatrick DempseySandra OhJustin ChambersChandra Wilson, and James Pickens, Jr. as well as newer characters that have been great additions played by Eric Dane, Chyler LeighKevin McKidd (yes, I have to mention Rome, he is in it, watch it), Jessica Capshaw, and Kim Raver (among others). The show also has some good single episode and short-arch stories and characters/actors. The big arches for the leads and primary supporting players can be very good, and if you allow yourself to be sucked into the nonsense (aka, not be bothered by how much drama is seemingly artificially forced into the show) you will find yourself cheering with and for your favorite characters (kind of a backhanded compliment – but I watch the show).
Potential Issues: At this point the characters have sort of become caricatures of themselves and the absurdly dramatic theatrics that occur in the show have driven away some fans – will this continue to get worse or be tempered by good storytelling? Hopefully it will be the later, but the former does show its eye-rolling/gag-inducing head now and then.
Verdict: For those that still like it – it is fun to follow and the characters are some of the better developed ones on TV (they have gone through a lot after all).

Modern Family (season 2 premiers Sep 22, 9PM)
Synopsis: A comedy sitcom about three interconnected families who each and together have everyday misadventures and trials that play in a satirical way.
Why Should You Watch: The cast is brilliant and extremely funny – Ed O’Neill (Married with Children), Eric Stonestreet (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) and Ty Burrell (Out of Practice) kill it. The writing is also very funny and pointed – what makes it great is that it is ridiculous but completely relatable. It is the best family-centric comedy on TV. It won the 2010 Emmy for best comedic series.
Potential Issues: Season one was so good, can season two really live up to it?
Verdict: Really funny, a must watch for those looking to laugh.

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